Mukesh Ambani taps the insurance sector

Mukesh Ambani has kicked off a foray into the financial services domain, hitherto an Anil Ambani preserve. Reliance Industries has sought a license to sell insurance products of all insurers through reliance retail, reports CNBC-TV!8.

Soon you might walk into a Reliance Fresh supermarket and walk out with an insurance policy or two. Sources at Reliance Industries say the broker licence application is part of a blueprint that includes selling mutual funds and other financial services through the retail chain.

IRDA guidelines say RIL will have to start a company whose principal activity will be insurance broking with a minimum capital of Rs50 lakh. Once the regulator approves its business plan the company will be allowed to sell life and non-life insurance products from various insurers.

This will be the first time you will be able to compare insurance products from various companies across the table. That's because insurance advisers can offer products only from one company and brokers normally cater to corporate clients.

Officials at RIL declined to comment but sources say the company has been hiring professionals from the banking industry in Delhi to run the business. So the next time you shop at Fresh, you will probably find policies next to peas.